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Happy Valley: 10 things we learned from episode five

WARNING: This blog contains spoilers for the fifth episode of Happy Valley series two — do not read until after you have watched

Well, hands up if you didn't see that coming.

The penultimate episode of Happy Valley was rollercoaster — there was another murder, a shocking confrontation with Neil, some clever detective work (although not by the police) and we found out who was behind the prostitute murders.

The final scenes left me gobsmacked — and full of questions for the finale. Hats off to you if you'd worked it out, or at least suspected...

Here's what we learned this week:

Ann got sentimental

Ideal for International Women's Day, tonight's episode began with Catherine and Joyce telling a bewildered Ann about the horrors of being a woman in the force in the 1980s. Handbags instead of truncheons, casual groping, everyday sexism — no wonder Ann threw up, eh? Joking aside, Ann got drunk, might have had sex with a stranger, then confessed how she saw Catherine as a god. Or something. Of course Catherine took her home and made sure she was OK, and even bought her the morning after pill. It's not hard to see why Ann idolises Catherine — not only did she rescue her from her kidnappers, she's been a mother figure ever since.


Sean was charged — then released

Poor Sean. You could tell by his face when he was arrested for murder that he probably wasn't guilty — and this week saw him looking rough, desperate, and panicking that he might have murdered four women while drunk, with no memory of any of it. As I said before, he's a nasty git but he's not a killer. His face when CID officer Shackleton charged him was one of total despair — even though he was able to explain away the DNA evidence in the van and his connection to Lynn Dewhurst, he couldn't stop the police from pursuing him as the murderer.


And then... another body was found. While Sean was in custody. Andy Shepherd may get his 'arse kicked' for the mistake, but it's better that than Sean take the rap. We heard later he was released — but CID already had a lead to the real killer through a hit-and-run crash involving a parked car at the scene.

Ryan rebelled

After his secretive letter-writing last week, Ryan continued his quest to bring his dad back into conversation in the Cawood house. His refusal of the new Scalextric set because he wanted the one his Dad (well, Frances) had bought was showed his age and his vulnerability — he may be clever but he's still young and confused. Which of course is perfect for Frances, who not-so-subtly told him which prison Tommy was in.


Then poor Daniel had to field questions about Becky and Tommy, and her death... I definitely thought Daniel was going to put his foot in it, but he managed to cut the conversation short the proper British way, by offering him a cup of tea. Only it's too late... Ryan has sent the letter. And I have a feeling a no contact order won't stop Tommy from replying.

John thought he was off the hook

As Sean sobbed his way though a statement about potentially killing prostitutes while drunk, John's pale, almost dazed expression flickered for a moment — it was dawning on him that he might, just might, get away with murder. He even tried to laugh about Sean's grumpy solicitor to an unimpressed Jodie Shackleton afterwards.

John Wadsworth (KEVIN DOYLE), Andy Shepherd (VINCENT FRANKLIN)
John Wadsworth (KEVIN DOYLE), Andy Shepherd (VINCENT FRANKLIN)

I thought he looked guilty when Sean was being charged, but the subsequent cringe-tastic car ride home proved otherwise. He was practically delirious. Don't Stop Me Now by Queen, good grief. And so relieved was he, he decided to storm home, have his son let him in and tell Amanda that as she was the dirty cheater, she should leave. While Amanda's no angel here, his nasty streak returned again as he taunted her and I've no idea how she didn't slap him.

So how wonderful it was when the news broke that another body was found... and his relief shattered into a thousand pieces. Jodie Shackleton won't let the Vicky Fleming anomaly go — but will it all come spilling out in the finale? If so, how? No one seems even close to suspecting him. Even Amanda, who I thought knew about Vicky, seemed clueless. He can't get away with it, surely?

Frances edged closer

Speaking of faces you want to slap, Frances upped her game this week — was that some sort of bomb she was making in the milk bottle? She lurked about in Catherine's street, ducking behind cars and watching Ryan in his yard. Her sheer panic when she saw Catherine makes me think that petrol bomb or no, she still hasn't got the guts to follow through and do what Tommy wants.

Frances Drummond (SHIRLEY HENDERSON)
Frances Drummond (SHIRLEY HENDERSON)

But then she was asking Ryan about sleepovers — is her plan to get Ryan out and safely to a mate's house before lobbing her milk bottle bomb through the window? I have a feeling an attack on the house is more likely than her squaring up to Sgt Cawood. But how will religious Frances square this with her god?

Neil fell off the wagon

In the most horrifying and simultaneously hilarious scene of the series, Catherine was sent to deal with a drunken idiot only to find it was Neil, topless and screaming through a pub door. At first I was worried Neil would swing for her, but then it became clear he was only interesting in screaming obscenities and acting like a toddler. His screaming as Catherine arrested him was utterly ridiculous and utterly brilliant.

Catherine (SARAH LANCASHIRE), Neil Ackroyd (CON O'NEILL)
Catherine (SARAH LANCASHIRE), Neil Ackroyd (CON O'NEILL)

But drunken hysteria aside, it also showed a darker side to Neil, who clearly has some demons to tackle. And as Daniel said, is it safe for Clare to be with a fellow alcoholic? He matter-of-factly explained that he knew when he was going to fall off the wagon and could plan accordingly — he seems to have it down to a kind of art.

Daniel played detective

It seems if you live in Catherine's house long enough, you start honing your detective skills. Clare was the perceptive one last week, and this week Daniel said what a lot of Examiner readers were thinking — that Neil could be the killer.

Obviously we now know that's not the case, and he's just a shifty bloke with a drinking problem. But more interestingly, Daniel brought up Ryan's questions about his dad — and made the connection that he's most inquisitive when he comes home from school, "as if someone is putting ideas in his head". Gold star, Daniel.

Daryl confessed

Then everything went a bit crackers. Because DARYL IS THE SERIAL KILLER. His mum Alison asked him, tentatively, about the damage to his van after hearing the hit-and-run appeal connected to the Rastrick murder, and warned him to 'get his tale straight'.

Daryl Garrs (ROBERT EMMS), Alison Garrs (SUSAN LYNCH) -
Daryl Garrs (ROBERT EMMS), Alison Garrs (SUSAN LYNCH) -

At first it seemed like Daryl was playing the fool to stop his mum's questioning — then all of a sudden he's in her room in the middle of the night, calmly confessing that he was behind the murders. It wasn't so straight forward — Alison had to tease the information out of him, as if he was a child, but it didn't take long. He doesn't know why he did it, he just did — and if Alison doesn't work out a plan, he's going to get caught, he tells her. You could see Alison battling between protecting her son and turning him in — then there was the bizarre line: "We've had a funny life, haven't we lad." Not sure funny is the word...

Catherine found her tormentor

Catherine had already tried to trace who sent the birthday present — but Mike wisely didn't give her the information he'd received from Gravesend Prison. He also said there were no local names, which suggests Frances has either lied about her address, her name, or both.


But that didn't stop Catherine — she tracked down the CCTV from the toy shop, found out a woman had bought the present, and after Daniel aired his suspicions about what was happening at school, the penny dropped. Clare was able to identify the mystery shopper as Miss Wheland — and now Frances is in for a world of trouble. I can't wait for Catherine to wipe that simpering look off her face.

Alison took action

I'm still not completely over the final scenes of tonight's episode. My jaw actually dropped when Alison picked up that gun, after waffling away to a frighteningly calm Daryl about running off to America for an 'adventure'.

Alison Garrs (SUSAN LYNCH), Daryl Garrs (ROBERT EMMS)
Alison Garrs (SUSAN LYNCH), Daryl Garrs (ROBERT EMMS)

Was it his apparent lack of remorse that turned her against him, or did she believe she was doing him a kindness, knowing how he'd struggle to cope in prison? It looked like a mercy killing — but what on earth will she say when the police finally rock up to the farm? Can she cover it up? What an ending.

Sassy Catherine one-liner of the week

"Semi-naked man at lunchtime in Sowerby Bridge? How could I stay away?" Catherine on rubbish lunchtime jobs, before she knew it was a very drunk Neil.

Happy Valley: Five questions for the series finale

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